If you browse through LinkedIn these days, you might notice an increasing number of the website’s users using professionally taken headshots for their profile pictures.
The days where you could use a quick shot taken in front of a white wall as your professional photo seem to be passing us by.
Why a professional headshot is better
With the skills and equipment of a professional photographer, the quality of the final photo will no doubt be better than what most of us can achieve on our own.
A high quality image used for your corporate headshot shows potential employers or networking opportunities that you care about the way you present yourself. Like a well-structured resume, a professional headshot can be a tool to capture attention and make a good first impression.
An experienced photographer can also provide directions on how to pose, allowing you to look your best and communicate confidence and poise through your body language.
What makes a good professional headshot
Apart from its image quality, a good headshot is one that is customized to the personal experiences of the subject. The headshot for a high-level executive at a major banking institution ideally conveys a different message about the subject than say, the headshot of a therapist who specializes in working with children.
The executive’s picture inspires a sense of competence and authority to viewers, while the child therapist’s conveys a gentleness and trustworthiness. This allows the viewers like recruiters to see the core traits of an individual even before meeting them, and thus form an impression about how suitable they are for the roles they are looking to fill.
To capture the unique qualities of different individuals, the photographer should be able to advise on the effect that posing, clothing, and props have on the message captured within the image.
Types of professional headshots
The message conveyed within an image can also be affected by the location it was taken at. Headshots can be divided into three different categories in terms of where the shoot happens: indoor studios, outdoor locations, or on-location.
Studios located indoors are, as the name implies, indoor locations specifically used for photo or video shoot purposes. Taking your headshot in a studio location often gives the photographer more control over how the photos will look. Backdrops of specific colours, lighting systems, and protection from the elements allow the photographer to create the perfect environment for your headshot. An indoor studio headshot is a reliable choice for all types of professions.
Outdoor shoots occur in locations outside, and can allow professional headshots to stand out from the rest. These headshots are often more natural and relaxed, as compared to the more formal and constructed environment of the indoor studio. If you wish to express a more laid-back persona, an outdoor headshot may be suitable for you.
On-location headshots are taken on the job site itself and are mostly organized by companies or by self-employed individuals. These on-site headshots serve a dual purpose of representing both the individual and the business, especially if taken in front of an identifying marker such as the company logo in the office lobby. These shots may also turn out more natural and relaxed, due to the subjects’ ease within the environment they are being photographed in.
Professionally taken headshots are becoming the norm in the working world, and the extra money used to pay for these services should not be regarded as a frivolous expense. A well-taken headshot can elevate your corporate image and create a great first impression.
To see more examples of my work in corporate headshot photography, head to the corporate headshot page on my website.
If you are interested in getting a professional headshot but
- are not sure what to expect, here is a behind-the-scenes video of a corporate headshot photoshoot by COCO Creative Studio and I.
- are not sure what to wear, check out this post by COCO Creative Studio on what to wear.
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